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An Angle on Nationalism in China Today: Attitudes among Beijing Students after Belgrade 1999

Dingxin Zhao
The China Quarterly
No. 172 (Dec., 2002), pp. 885-905
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4618810
Page Count: 21
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An Angle on Nationalism in China Today: Attitudes among Beijing Students after Belgrade 1999
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Abstract

It is widely claimed that radical anti-US nationalism has become dominant in China, especially among young students. Based on a survey of 1,211 students and interviews with 62 informants conducted in three elite Beijing universities about four months after the US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, this article shows that most students believed that the embassy bombing was a deliberate action and that their anger towards the bombing incident was genuine. Yet, contrary to initial expectations, the study also shows that the anger expressed by the students during the anti-US demonstrations was more a momentary outrage than a reflection of a long-term development of popular anti-US nationalism, that Beijing students saw the United States more as a superpower than as an enemy, and that they considered "to counteract US hegemony" the least important among the eight national goal statements that were provided. The findings demonstrate that, at least among China's elite student population, a population that has always been at the forefront of Chinese politics in the 20th century, there is no domination of anti-US nationalism.

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